Moms More Optimistic About Family Vacations in 2011

More moms are comfortable about taking time off work for family vacation this year, but they're still watching their purse strings, according to a national survey. 

Almost two-​thirds (64%) of the employed moms are optimistic about taking all of their paid vacation days, up from only 57% in 2010. Just as last year, however, most plan to pay for vacations out of current resources instead of using credit.

Conducted by Nashville-​based WhyMomsRule​.com, a blog that tracks trends affecting moms and their buying habits, the poll showed moms continue to book travel close to date of departure, but 26% still book three to six months out.

Almost half of the moms in all three generations polled (Gen Y, Gen X and baby boomers) plan to purchase vacation with monthly savings (44% of baby boomers and Gen X, 46% of Gen Y), followed by tax refunds (28% for Gen Y and X and 11% for boomers). This cash mentality mirrors last year's feelings.

Much smaller percentages were willing to "put it on plastic" (14% for Gen Y, 21% for Gen X and 30% for baby boomers).

Summer remains the preferred travel season (61% for this year, 57% last year), but spring is growing (32% this year versus 24% in 2010).

Gen Y moms particularly are more optimistic. In 2010, 24% said the economy would keep their families at home, but that has dropped to 17%.

Sacrifice remains a theme, but there's been a shift. Last year, moms expected yearlong sacrifices to make vacation affordable. This year, there is slightly more emphasis on being frugal while actually on vacation. (Example: 42% last year expected to cut back on restaurant dining all year, but that has dropped to 33%.)

Two signs of optimism involved flying and choosing new vacation destinations. The number of moms opting to fly instead of drive grew from 28 to 36%, while more moms are looking for new destinations (up from 25 to 32%).

[Source:  National survey conducted by WhyMomsRule​.com/​B​o​han Ideas.  16 Feb. 2011.  Web.  3 Mar. 2011.]